Two California dairy farms quarantined during a government investigation of the first U.S. mad-cow disease case since 2006 have been released from isolation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Most of the herd mates of the 10-year-old California animal found last month to have mad cow disease are either dead or ruled out as possible carriers of the disease, the USDA said today in a statement. The department said it is still searching for about 10 to 12 animals that may be traceable.
“Of several hundred potential birth cohort cattle, the focus of the tracing is on a small number,” the USDA said. “The remaining potential cohorts are no longer alive or have otherwise been ruled out.”
The nation’s fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was confirmed by the USDA on April 24. The first was discovered in December 2003, and U.S. beef exports tumbled 82 percent to 460.3 million pounds during the next 12 months as dozens of countries banned the product, government data show. Most trade has resumed.
The most recent case prompted Indonesia, why buys less than 1 percent of shipments, to ban U.S. beef.
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